Nikon AF-S 600mm f/4E FL ED VR review

The diet-conscious Nikon AF-S 600mm f/4E FL ED VR sheds a few pounds

Nikon AF-S 600mm f/4E FL ED VR
(Image: © Nikon)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Typical of Nikon’s fully pro-grade, fast super-tele prime lenses, this one is beautifully built and impeccably turned out. A key upgrade over the preceding model is that the ‘FL’ lens features fluorite glass, which helps to shed about 25 per cent of the weight. Even so, it’s not a lens to be taken lightly, weighing in a nearly 4kg and with an equally hefty price tag. Superb handling, image quality and overall performance make it worth the weight and the cost.


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    Superb image quality

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    Super-fast autofocus

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    Effective optical VR


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    Very expensive to buy

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    Although lighter, it’s still a weighty proposition

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Launched back in 2015, before full-frame digital cameras were even a twinkle in Nikon’s eye, the Nikon AF-S 600mm f/4E FL ED VR followed hot on the heels of the AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR. Nikon subsequently launched a redesigned 500mm and this 600mm lens, with a practically identical set of upgrades. All three lenses now sport fluorite elements towards the front, which shed weight while retaining optimum image quality. At 3.81kg, this 600mm is an almost identical weight to the 400mm f/2.8 lens, but marginally wider and 74mm longer, measuring 166x432mm. It’s also some 25 per cent lighter than Nikon’s preceding 600mm. The loss of 1.25kg is immediately obvious and enables easier handling, especially as the balance is shifted away from the front of the lens. Handheld shooting is more within the realms of possibility. 


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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.